The Soap Box: PNG vs. Matt Jones

It's made of people.

It's made of people.

PNG will show that blood means nothing in the world of gaming podcasts as we take on my very own brother in this edition of The Soap Box.  Matt calls out Jim Bradford for his distaste for the recent HAWX demo and brings up some valid points nestled deep within his proclamation of professional aptitude that was bestowed upon him from playing the demo.

“Although not the best game I’ve ever played I have to disagree on the Hawx review.

I think showing you first how to operate in safe mode helps you. When there is a lock on your aircraft it is MUCH easier to pull off a move ensuring your survival. Now I understand you think the first level is awful, but seriously how many games have we all played and just can’t stand the first few levels because of the tedious instructions on things that should just be common sense. Up until this point I had no clue how to stall an aircraft, but now I’m pretty damn sure I can do it. There are still numerous FPS games that start off with the same old “this is how you pull a trigger” but you never hear a complaint. Ease up on Mr. Clancy. If I can make a few bucks by slappin my name on a game then I fully approve the production of Matt Jones’ Dong Factory. Other than that fantastic work guys keep it up.

Matt Jones”

12 responses to “The Soap Box: PNG vs. Matt Jones

  1. It probably didn’t help that I didn’t realize there WAS a level after the first. I suppose it was because it didn’t just push you into it and you had to select it from a menu (which is poor design, if you ask me).

    Listen, I feel kind of bad for Mr. Clancy so I’ll download the demo again and give it another shot. I’ll do a little write-up later on today.

  2. I don’t disagree that the HAWX demo was actually good. I didn’t necessarily like how long they kept you out of safe mode and while the cinematic feel is good, they could have made it just a little easier to control.

    That’s not really what I wanted to comment on, since you touched on something very important towards the end there. Just because Mr. Clancy can pop his name on something to make a few bucks, doesn’t it mean it’s right. Isn’t he’s essentially causing his brand to lose value when he pops it on something mediocre such as HAWX or even EndWar? It’s almost the same as Activision outright saying they only place value on franchises they can exploit yearly.

    It’s an outright disservice to us as gamers and an insult to our intelligence and my hard earned dollars in these oh so tough economic times.

    • I think it’s a bit irresponsible to just assume that Ubisoft is just popping Clancy’s name on anything with a hint of military intrigue. Do I think Tom’s in the studio every day lending his input? No. However, everything I’ve ever heard from the normally very solid crews of these games is that he does lend his help on each and every project he puts his name on. And, to be fair, they are normally very solid. Rainbow Six, Ghost Recon and my beloved Splinter Cell are juggernauts in the video game world. If putting his name on these games gets people to play them I’m all for it.

      Gamers aren’t stupid though. Just because Clancy’s name is on the box doesn’t mean people are going to buy in. Does anyone remember The Sum of All Fears on GameCube? Hopefully you don’t because it was attrocious. To gamer’s credit, they didn’t buy it. Also, to Ubisoft’s credit, they’re floating demos for these new, non-established properties because they’re not relying on Tom Clancy alone to sell it.

      Tom does not develop games. We know this. What he does is help with the stories and give Ubisoft access to his established military connections.

      James, I do recall you saying that EndWar was fun. Now its mediocre? Is that you talking or the 77 metacritic score (which falls under their generally favorable reviews)? Arguably more important, I believe, is the users score on Metacritic of 8.7 out of 10. When gamers like a game that much who is Mr. Clancy doing a disservice to?

      As far as HAWX is concerned, sir you are calling this a mediocre game before the proverbial chicken is even hatched.

      • Just because I said EndWar was fun doesn’t mean that it’s a spectacular game or even above average. It has it’s own issues from what I’ve played of it and it really does seem mediocre which by definition means it’s niether good nor bad. I could really give a damn about metacritic’s 77. Furthermore, if they weren’t relying on his name to move some units, why even put it on there in the first place. This isn’t just about Ubisoft, it’s about quite a few companies taking advantage of the less informed gamers out there by putting a well known name on something.

        As for HAWX, I admit that I’m passing judgement on a demo, but you are one to talk… cough cough… RE5… cough cough… That point aside, I fail to see what HAWX is doing any different from say an Ace Combat besides the ablility fly around in an uncontrollable cinematic view.

        Lastly… I ❤ Jeff 4E

        • I will address each woefully underwhelming statement one at a time.

          To your point that you don’t give a damn about Metacritic’s 77. Fair enough. I agree that because a consistent portion of reviewers think a game has something to offer doesn’t always translate to our own personal taste. What I would take issue with is that you didn’t properly convey that this was your own personal opinion and not what the majority of people who have played and enjoyed it believe. I think, with an above average score from Meta and a VERY good score from users that your point that Clancy’s name is being soiled on a mediocre product is null because the majority of gamers would disagree. In the end his name went on a game that people appear to have mostly enjoyed.

          To your question “Why put his name on there?” Well for one, he DOES have influence on these games which anyone who has ever overpayed for a R6 or Splinter Cell collector’s edition would know. Besides, this is the nature of marketing. Why does Michael Jordan or LeBron James name get put on a pair of shoes? Why is some dumb celebritiy’s face constantly adorning a box of Wheaties? More specific to video games, why do millions of gamers care who is put on the cover of Madden every year? Hopefully you have the answer because I don’t. However, in the case of Clancy games I don’t mind too much seeing as how, again, he DOES do work on the actual project whereas I doubt Michael Phelps has any input whatsoever on how a Wheatie should taste.

          I will preface this next statement by saying I don’t know this to be fact but rest assured the proper research will be completed. Each time Ubisoft approaches Tom Clancy to lend his (arguably) effective writing and story crafting to a project, he agrees with the condition that he can put his name on the box. This is the very definition of effective cross promoting. People see a well respected author on the box of a video game and might check it out. Conversely, they LIKE the video game and go out and check out Clancy’s books. I have no problem with this I scratch your back you scratch mine philosophy. Lastly to this point, are you at ALL sympathetic to anyone who buys a video game, that they may turn out not to enjoy, because an author’s name appears on it? I would be about as sympathetic to this social miscreant as I would to someone whose Jordan’s ripped apart at the seems.

          How is HAWX different from Ace Combat? Computer assisted optimal flight and interception paths that can be turned on or off. Trust me this was extremely helpful to someone as terrible as I am at Ace Combat. It will remain to be seen whether the story is more engaging. Mr. Clancy will have played a role in that.

          Lastly, good ole’ Resident Evil….. we’re back to this again huh? Fine, ok, pull my arm. Look, yes I judged RE5 on a demo, I’ll admit it. But what was I judging? One thing that absolutely, unabashedly will not change from the demo to the finished prduct in both RE5 and HAWX is the controls. I like the controls (minus the first level) in HAWX, and cannot stand them in RE5. Now those who will tolerate the RE5 control scheme will, I’m sure, get treated to a great continuation of the story that all the fans love. I, however, cannot tolerate them, even for two levels of a demo. Thus, I have the right to judge the game. My personal opinion of the game that is.

          • I didn’t think that it would be necessary to state that my opinion was my own personal opinion. I just thought that it would be assumed on a blog. If not, I apologize for misleading anybody and making their decisions for them. I did say that I liked the demo, but what I won’t say is that it’s spectacular or anything above average and what little story they gave me for an unproven new IP didn’t grab me (warning, personal opinion… snoogins).

            If you would look at my comment again, this isn’t JUST about Ubisoft sticking a name on there. This is about any company that milks a franchise by just putting a name on there. And yes, this even applies to my beloved Resident Evil series with such tragedies as Survivor, Dead Aim, and Outbreak 1 & 2.

            I’d be interested to hear about your reseach on how much Mr. Clancy actually contributes to the development of any game with his name on it.

            • There was an episode of “Icons” on the old format of G4 where they had a documentary on Red Storm, the company that originally made Rainbow Six and was co-founded by Tom Clancy. It’s hard to find the video anywhere but I recall much of the episode. The games are based on his fiction, much like movies such as Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger were. Furthermore, he gave the team, and to my knowledge still does to this day, access to all of his military contacts.

              Going forward I don’t think this will happen anymore. Turns out Tom SOLD HIS NAME to Ubisoft for anything video game related.

              As far as not having to qualify opinions as such because this is a blog…. yeah I’ll give you that. But, that opinion is to me questionable when you say his brand loses value when his name ends up on something that mose gamers who play it enjoy.

              • Maybe he DID contribute to every game, but it appears he hasn’t bothered since at least 3/20/2008 per this article over at CNET


                I’ll will backtrack and apologize for insinuating that his name is losing value over EndWar and HAWX, but these games don’t FEEL quite like they have the same qaulity of Ghost Recon, Rainbow Six, and Splinter Cell from what we’ve played. I suppose one of us is going to have to get the full version of HAWX and just see if it has that same political and combat intrigue that is so special to Clancy games, because I just didn’t get that feeling from HAWX.

                Again, we’ve only had access to the demo, but that’s always been something I’ve harped on about those things. The masses now have access to demos that used to be only available from buying a magazine or reserving a game, which means any asshole can give his opinion. We’re no exception.

                • NOTHING matches the quality of Splinter Cell. But we will have to review the game since its been such a point of contention.

  3. preorder Matt Jones’ Dong Factory and get a plush dong. gamestop exclusive!

  4. We’re tops in our region for Matt Jones’ Dong Factory res. We’re really pushing his Dong.

  5. I am amazed at the support that Dong Factory has been getting. I have now been meeting with a few companies and production of a live action movie is in talks. I will also introduce my new games Matt Jones’ DongWar and Resitaint Evil Uno (Only Available in Mexico).

    In all seriousness I understand how it may not be right to just slap your name on a product and become more and more driven away from your original fan base. You also have to remember that Mr. Clancy probably doesn’t make as much money off of his branded video games as he does off publication. Tom Clancy doesn’t care about gamers. Tom Clancy spends his nights rubbing his body with the millions of dollars he’s making off of his books and uses the money he gets from video games to wipe his ass. In other words this is just business as usual for Mr. Clancy.

    Trust me I couldn’t agree with you more that it’s not ok to put out mediocre games and put a big name on it but the economy is in the shitter. If Gillette has to put out a gamer razor why can’t Clancy come out with his own version of Crash Bandicoot?

    nuff said

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